Grocery Haul and an Easy Snack!

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a nice weekend :) My Monday started off interesting with ANOTHER flat tire (WTF?!). Luckily I noticed it after like a block so I just rolled my way to the tire place a few blocks from my house, ha! It was taken care of by 8:30 am ;) I’m glad I get an early start on the day otherwise I probably would have had to wait for a while!

Anyway, I was on my way to Whole Foods at the time so I ended up getting there just a little bit later than I planned but I ended up getting a lovely grocery haul that I wanted to share with you :)

My beautiful produce haul! From the bottom left corner: Tiny potatoes, mushrooms, green cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, swiss chard, lemons and strawberries.

On the way home I stopped at Trader Joe’s to pick up those apricots because I didn’t like the way they looked at Whole Foods. A whole separate trip for one item lol. Also got some Tom’s of Maine Toothpaste.

Some sprouted raw sunflower seeds.

And finally some amaranth. Check out the price on that ;) I want to try popping it for cereal because I’ve heard it’s good! I’ve also heard it can take a while to get the hang of popping it but it’s definitely worth a shot!

When I got home I wanted to make up a fun new bar/ball/snack thing to change it up. I had an idea and I figured it would make a good light breakfast on the go or a quick snack to pop after a tough workout to re-energize. So here’s what I came up with!

Check out these beauties! Isn’t the color stunning? I thought they looked like little gems which inspired the name… Cranberry Apricot Gems. That sounds so much better than balls, right? ;)

The recipe is so simple but I thought you may like it so here it is!

Cranberry Apricot Gems

Ingredients:

1 heaping cup dried apricots*

3/4 cup dried cranberries (soaked 30 minutes and patted dry)

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

Directions:

1. Process apricots and cranberries in a food processor until a sticky dough forms.

2. Pulse in sunflower seeds until just combined.

3. Form dough into little balls (I used a medium sized ice cream scoop). Put a little water on your hands while rolling so the dough doesn’t stick. It may be a little tough to roll them (it may be a little crumbly) so try packing it together while forming it into a ball.

4. Place Gems in the fridge to firm up. Enjoy as a snack or light breakfast!

*My apricots were soft and luscious but if yours are a little more dry, try soaking for a half hour to plump them up.

I’m so happy with how these came out :) They are a little sweet and a little tart and have a little crunch from the seeds. A perfect little snack! I’m planning on submitting this recipe for Healthy Vegan Friday this week… my first submission in months! Yay!

I felt really inspired over the weekend and started to brainstorm a bunch of recipes that I want to try out. These gems were the first test and they came out great, I’m really happy with them! Can’t wait to try the rest!

That’s all I’ve got for today. It’s hot and humid and there has been some pretty crazy (read: awesome in my world haha) storms so I’ll probably hang out inside for the afternoon and do some reading. I hope that you are all having a great day and I’ll be back soon!

Gluten Free Almond Coconut Oatmeal Cookies!!

Hey everyone!! Happy Valentine’s Day :) I’m not big on Valentine’s day so that’s the only mention you’ll get out of me but I figured I’d wish you all a good one. I figured today would be a great day to share my recipe for my Almond Coconut Oatmeal Cookies!! I loved these cookies so much and I really hope you’ll try them. Soooooooo good!

I used this as my start point and made a bunch of changes to create this new cookie. Yum!

Gluten Free Almond Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup gf oat flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar*

1/4 cup white sugar

2 tbsp maple syrup

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, drained on a paper towel

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

1 1/2 cups gf rolled oats

3/4 cups sliced almonds

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

*Instead of regular brown sugar I use Alter Eco’s Mascobado sugar that was sent to me to review. This was my secret for this recipe. It added a beautiful hint of caramel that was so perfect. I really love this sugar, you should definitely try it in place of brown sugar if you can get it in your local stores.

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

3. Mix the sugars, syrup, applesauce, coconut oil and extracts in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.

4. Add oats, almonds and coconut. Stir until combined then let sit for 10 minutes.

5. Drop cookies on baking sheet (I used a small ice cream scoop to portion my cookies… probably about the size of a rounded tsp). Bake cookies 10-11 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes on tray then transfer to cooling rack. Enjoy!!

These cookies are seriously amazing. I really love the almond extract in it too. I may add a little almond flour next time too :)

That’s all for me my friends! Hope you all have a great night, whatever your plans may be!! I’ll be spending a quiet night at home. It’s Thursday after all… which means a new episode of Impractical Jokers :) Have a good night!

Pasta With Cauliflower “Cream” Sauce

Hey everyone! Happy Friday! I hope you all had a great week :) I’m jealous it’s not my weekend yet but it will be soon enough I guess. In the meantime, I have a fun new recipe to share!

Here’s a hint:

Well, I guess you already knew it was vegan ;) I still had some cauliflower mash left and decided to get crazy with it and turn it into a “cream” sauce for pasta! I used to love fettucini alfredo and thought this would be a fun, healthy version of it!

Check out this gorgeous bowl of creamy pasta! I used gluten free angel hair pasta but you can use whatever you like. I’m just an angel hair girl :)

Pasta With Cauliflower “Cream” Sauce

Ingredients:

1 serving pasta of choice (with some cooking water reserved)

1/2 cup cheesy cauliflower mash

1/2 cup steamed spinach (and other veggies of choice)

salt, pepper, garlic to taste

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to package. Drain and reserve some of the cooking liquid.

2. Heat cheesy cauliflower mash in a small saucepan. Thin sauce with pasta cooking liquid to desired consistency. I like mine thick and creamy. Add nutritional yeast and mix well.

3. Add veggies to sauce and add pasta last. Season with salt, pepper and garlic to taste.

This pasta is rich and creamy and decadent with absolutely none of the guilt! Definitely give this a try, I think you’ll like it!

I’m also submitting this recipe for Healthy Vegan Friday!

That’s all for tonight my friends! Have a great evening!

Mini Grocery Haul and Some Soup

Hey everyone! Happy Sunday! Sunday is officially my favorite day of the week. I get to enjoy the laziness of it AND I still have the next day off! It doesn’t get any better than that. And today I made sure to make the most of my Sunday. By 9 am I had already made quick trips to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and by noon I had a big pot of soup finished and ready to shove into my face ;)

First I’ll show you my small grocery haul. This was mostly stuff to fill in.

Cauliflower, mirepoix, Earth Balance sticks (for baking), Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips, Candy Cane Joe Joe’s (These are hard to find in stock so when you see them you grab them! I am going to use them in baking I’m sure), Daiya backup, zucchini, peppermint extract, medjool dates, hummus, macro sushi and potatoes.

So a little after I got home from grocery shopping I decided to not be a lazy ass and to actually make the pot of soup I was intending to make this week. Believe it or not, I’ve never actually made a home made veggie soup before so I was kind of making it up as I went along. It came out so delicious, I’m so happy with it!

Here it is simmering away on the stove. I’m a big fan of really chunky soup so I chopped up my veggies nice and large so I can actually taste them. I’m so happy with the results and I figured I’d share my recipe with you!

Chunky Veggie Soup

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large clove garlic, minced fine

2 large carrots, diced

2 large stalks celery, diced

1 large onion, diced

2 medium-large white potatoes, diced

2 medium zucchini, diced

1 small head cauliflower, chopped

1 can red beans, rinsed and drained

6 cups vegetable broth or water

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Once your oil is hot, add carrots, onions and celery.

2. Cook until translucent, 5-7 minutes then add garlic. Saute another minute or two. Add potato and cook for another 2-4 minutes.

3. Add your broth or water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Drop heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cauliflower, zucchini and beans and simmer until veggies are fork tender.

4. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!!

Check out this gorgeous, hearty bowl of soup. It’s nice and chunky, just the way I like it. You can cut everything smaller if you like but I prefer large chunks. I made mine even easier by getting the container of pre-chopped mirepoix from Trader Joe’s and just dumping it in the pot with oil to saute rather than chop everything separately.

I’m also submitting this soup recipe for Healthy Vegan Friday this week! It is a perfect recipe with Thanksgiving and some cold weather coming up :)

I hope you are all enjoying your day! I spent a little time with Delilah before and now I’m just going to relax and hang out for the rest of the day. I see some tea in my future too :)

Tomorrow is my follow up appointment at the Dr. to get my test results. I think she is also planning on doing another vitamin D test to see if 4000 iu per day is enough. Hopefully I get good results all around! I’ll let you know!

Have a great day everyone!

Alter Eco Review and Coconut Sticky Rice Breakfast Pudding

Hey everyone! I’ll warn you right off the bat that today’s post has a ton of pics :) I couldn’t help myself, I was so excited to be contacted by Alter Eco Foods to sample some of their amazing products. I really love this company and what they stand for. They promote sustainability and responsibility through the sale of fair trade, organic, minimally processed foods. They maintain direct relationships with farmers and promote socially just and environmentally responsible practices. This company is absolutely amazing and provide high quality products that you can enjoy completely guilt free.

Thank you so much to Alter Eco for sending me so many amazing products to try! I was so excited to open my package, and even more excited to find such a nice variety of products to try!

I was lucky enough to receive three chocolate bars to try! There was a Dark Quinoa bar, Dark Blackout Bar and a Dark Coconut Toffee Bar. The Dark Coconut Toffee bar is not vegan so my mom inherited that one and she said it was absolutely delicious!

The Dark Blackout bar is an absolute dream for all dark chocolate lovers and purists. This chocolate is intense, pure 85% bittersweet dark chocolate. It tastes fruity and bold and is a perfect treat for anyone that loves high quality dark chocolate.

The Dark Quinoa bar was my favorite of the two because of the texture that the quinoa adds. The chocolate is also high quality dark chocolate that is rich, fruity and delicious and the toasted, nutty quinoa adds an amazing crunchy texture. Love this bar!

I was also lucky enough to try the Organic Royal Pearl Quinoa, the Thai Sticky Purple Rice (so excited about this one!) and Organic Mascobado Cane Sugar.

Another thing that I love about this product is that they tell you exactly where they get each and every product. As you can see, the quinoa came from Bolivia. Every single package contains the country of origin information.

I decided to try out the quinoa using a recipe featured in a Healthy Vegan Friday post that sounded AMAZING. I made up a batch of Ashley’s Cheesy Corn Quinoa¬†and I am so glad I did. First, Alter Eco’s quinoa cooked up so quick and easy and it was incredibly fluffy with a slight crunch to it. It is definitely a high quality quinoa.

Ashley’s recipe was really amazing too. The fluffiness of the quinoa, sweetness of the corn and creaminess of the melted cheese came together as a really delicious satisfying and comforting meal. I’m so glad I got to use Alter Eco’s quinoa to try out this recipe.

Finally, the ingredient I was most excited about trying was the Thai Sticky Purple Rice and it certainly did not disappoint! It has the most gorgeous purple color and a nutty, slightly sweet flavor. It may sound weird but I loved the way it smelled when it was cooking. It was nutty and also almost smelled a little bit like popcorn. It may sound weird but it smelled amazing!

I decided to make a Thai Sticky Purple Rice breakfast pudding. It is slightly flavored with coconut to keep up with the Thai theme but I also added some almond for crunch. Isn’t it gorgeous? The color is so rich and lovely, and the pudding came out so creamy thanks to the stickiness of the rice and the addition of a special ingredient: coconut butter!

Coconut Sticky Rice Breakfast Pudding

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Alter Eco Thai Sticky Purple Rice, cooked

1/2 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp shredded coconut

1 tbsp sliced almonds

1 tsp coconut butter

cinnamon to taste

stevia or agave to taste

Directions:

1. Combine cooked rice with coconut milk in a medium saucepan and heat to a simmer.

2. Once simmering, add the rest of your ingredients except coconut butter. Cook until most of the milk thickens and is mostly absorbed.

3. Add coconut butter at very end. Turn off heat and stir in coconut butter. As it melts your pudding will become rich and creamy.

4. Transfer to a bowl and top with more sliced almonds and shredded coconut. Enjoy!

I haven’t had a chance to try the sugar yet, but I will definitely let you know how it is. It is Vegan and said to have notes of caramel and vanilla. It sounds amazing and I can think of a million different ways to use it! I’ll definitely keep you posted on that!

Thank you so much again Alter Eco, not just for sending me amazing products to try, but also for doing the right thing and promoting sustainability, protecting and supporting farmers, and maintaining socially just and environmentally responsible practices. Please go support this company and all of the wonderful things they are doing to bring high quality foods to our homes will taking care of the farmer’s that produce them. You can’t ask for more than that!

I hope you all have a great day!

Cheesy Cauliflower Patties

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great day. I’m so excited to finally get back into the swing of things here. As I mentioned before there are a ton of recipes on Pinterest that I’ve wanted to try, and I figured today would be the day to get back in the kitchen and try the first recipe.

I was so excited about the massive head of cauliflower that I decided to start of my kitchen adventures by veganizing a recipe for Cheesy Cauliflower Pancakes. I’m chowing down on these right now and they are absolutely incredible!!

Don’t they look delicious?! Let me tell you, the flavor packed into these little patties is incredible. I strayed from the original recipe just a bit but it came out amazing. They can be served as a mash as well and would probably be easier that way. Yum!

Cheesy Cauliflower Patties

Ingredients:

2 cups cauliflower, chopped into large florets

1/2 cup cheddar Daiya shreds (I used Mozzarella because it was all I could find and it tasted great too)

1 1/2 tbsp ground flax seeds (you can sub bread crumbs if you like)

salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

1 tsp olive oil

Directions:

1. Cook cauliflower in boiling water until tender. This should take 10-15 minutes.

2. Drain the cauliflower then mash while still warm. Stir in the rest of your ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings.

3. Spray a large pan with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Form the mixture into patties and add to pan. Cook until brown then flip and cook other side. Enjoy!

*Note – My patties did fall apart a little bit since there isn’t too much of a binder in there. They are very delicate so handle with care. I recommend making small patties that will flip easily with a spatula. If they fall apart they will be just as delicious! Or, you can just skip the whole patty process and just serve the mash as is. I’d recommend heating the mixture over a medium heat just to make sure the cheese has melted. Yum!

I served my patties with some baby carrots and one of the giant pickles I picked up at the store yesterday. It was such a delicious and satisfying meal!

I hope you all have a great night tonight! I’ll be back tomorrow with more food :)

Vegan MoFo Post 14: Carrot Cake Oats

Hey everyone. So this whole ACD thing is already proving to be a huge challenge for me. I’m so used to eating fruit in the morning and I’ve been completely thrown off by not being able to eat it. I do enjoy a tofu scramble for breakfast but those have to be limited a bit on this diet so I’ve been trying to find other savory breakfasts that are ACD approved. It’s also pretty lucky for me that stevia is allowed on the ACD so I’ll be able to use it on occasion to satisfy that sweet tooth that is being severely ignored. And that’s where today’s breakfast came in.

As you may remember, I typically enjoy my oats with banana, raisins, and walnuts but since bananas and raisins are off limits I decided to switch things up. This was my attempt to eat an ACD friendly breakfast with a little bit of sweetness and it worked out pretty well! It was slightly sweetened with stevia and brings together carrots, walnuts and spices to create a bowl of oats reminiscent of a sweet, comforting slice of carrot cake.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Ingredients:

1/3 cup gluten free steel cut oats

1 cup filtered water

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 tbsp chopped walnuts

1 small carrot, grated

stevia to taste

Directions:

1. Combine water and oats in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and simmer.

2. When water is mostly absorbed, add spices, walnuts, carrot and stevia to the pan. Cook until water is absorbed. Enjoy!

Looks like confetti in the oatmeal! It’s so pretty and pretty yummy too. I’m still missing my fruit but this was definitely a step in the right direction.

So, this has been pretty difficult so far. There are so many rules and restrictions so I’ve been struggling a bit but I’m going to hang in there. My goal is to do this for one month and see how I feel.

I hope you have all had a great day! I did a lot of cooking today and will be heading to my training session later on this evening. Always look forward to that ;)

Have a great day!

Vegan MoFo Day 10: Cold Stone Creamery “Cookie Doughn’t You Want Some”

Well, I promised something decadent and amazing today and hopefully I will deliver! Except the decadence and amazingness are relatively guilt free! It doesn’t get better than that, does it?

Today I decided to recreate a Cold Stone Creamery SIgnature Creation called the Cookie Doughn’t You Want Some. Their version consists of French Vanilla ice cream, Chocolate Chips, Cookie Dough, Fudge and Caramel. I didn’t include all of these things but I came pretty close.

And what makes this amazing looking sundae relatively guilt free? It starts with banana soft serve and ends with Chocolate Covered Katie’s Healthy Cookie Dough Dip. So good!

Banana soft serve, the quickest chocolate sauce ever and little balls of Healthy Cookie Dough Dip. Probably one of the best recreations ever :)

Vegan Cookie Dough Sundae

Ingredients:

1 1/2 bananas, frozen

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1 tsp cocoa powder

1 tsp agave

1 tsp water

1/4-1/3 cup Healthy Cookie Dough Dip, rolled into balls

Directions:

1. Make chocolate sauce by mixing cocoa powder, agave and water together. Set aside.

2. Add frozen bananas to food processor. Process until it starts to get creamy. Add vanilla and cinnamon (if you choose) and then continue processing until it reaches a creamy, soft serve texture.

3. Spoon soft serve into a bowl and top with cookie dough balls and drizzle with chocolate syrup. To achieve a more Cold Stone like sundae, mix half of your cookie dough calls into the soft serve and top with remaining. You can also add chocolate chips if you’d like.

I chose not to use caramel for several reasons, the biggest one being that I felt it was kind of unnecessary. Had I decided to use it, I would have made some date syrup and used that as my caramel. This is sweet enough as is though. :)

The best part about this version is that it is…

vegan, of course! ;)

So there you have it, a decadent sundae made at home with just a few ingredients. A perfect dessert to impress your friends or to enjoy as a treat.

Before I go, I just wanted to give you a heads up that I may be switching theme’s mid MoFo. As much fun as I’m having with these recreations, I’ve been feeling really sick lately. I was planning on cleansing after MoFo but I think I may have to start a little earlier than anticipated because I just feel sicker every day. I will keep you posted though as I’m doing some research now! I’m hoping to start next week so I just wanted to give a little heads up on a possible theme switch. Maybe after I get settled in I’ll do some cleanse appropriate recreations :)

I hope you all have a great Wednesday! Work til 9 tonight so I’ll catch you all later!

Vegan MoFo Day 7: Another Broken Egg Cafe Veggie Benedict

Hey everyone! Have you all been having a nice weekend? I had a pretty good day today. It got a bit chilly and was yucky and rainy but I was out with the ladies in my family (mom, sis in law and Delilah) running errands which is always fun! I love when I get to see Delilah :) She’s my buddy! I did come home feeling really exhausted and I have a massive headache so I’m really glad I made my MoFo meal for brunch today!

Today I’m bringing you my second recreation from Another Broken Egg Cafe. This is actually the dish I ordered when I was there, except the vegan version and way yummier because of that :)

Check out my version of the Veggie Benedict!! The menu version of the Veggie Benedict is “An english muffin smothered in sauteed fresh spinach leaves, mushrooms, tomatoes & broccoli, topped with two medium poached eggs, covered with our special Hollandaise sauce.” I made a few changes to it but overall kept it pretty close to it. I left out the mushrooms because I really wasn’t feeling them this morning and used onions instead of broccoli because I only had enough broccoli for a dish I’m planning to make this week. I also decided to cook it up as a tofu scramble because I like everything mixed together rather than a chunk of tofu sitting on top :)

It’s not pretty but it sure does taste good!

Veggie Benedict

Ingredients:

1 Whole Grain English Muffin (I used Ezekiel)

1/2 cup firm tofu

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup chopped tomato

1 packed cup baby spinach

2-3 tbsp favorite Vegan Hollandaise sauce (I used the Vegg Hollandaise Recipe)

Directions:

1. Toast English muffin and prepare your hollandaise sauce.

2. Brown tofu in a skillet. Remove the tofu then add onion to hot pan. Cook onions until soft and slightly browned.

2. Once onions are cooked, add spinach to the pan. Cover pan until spinach is wilted (about 2 minutes).

3. Uncover pan and add tomatoes and tofu to pan. Season with your favorite seasonings. I use pepper, garlic and nooch.

4. Once tofu scramble is finished, spoon the mixture on top of the english muffin halves. Top with hollandaise and enjoy!

This meal was also quite hearty so I couldn’t finish it. I’m so glad I made it this morning when I had energy though! I feel like I had a proper Sunday brunch! I kind of want to send these posts to restaurants to show them how easy it is to offer vegan options. I have a really hard time going out for breakfast or brunch because there aren’t many vegan options in your typical diner. It is so easy!! I guess I’ll just have to keep making my own brunch for now until they get with the program :)

I hope you enjoyed my first week of restaurant recreations! I’m looking forward to another week of recipes and experiments!

Have a great Sunday night everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend!

 

Vegan MoFo Day 4: Panera Tomato Mozzarella Panini

Why hello friends! Looks like everyone is settling into MoFo :) I’m super excited about the meal I chose to recreate today. You guys may not know this but in my pre-vegan days I worked at Panera. I’m kind of obsessed with their soups (the black bean and garden veggie [minus the pesto] are vegan) and their bread is pretty amazing. After I stopped working there and became vegan, they added a tomato mozzarella panini to their menu. YUM! They describe it as “Fresh mozzarella, roasted & fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and all-natural sun-dried tomato pesto on Ciabatta.” It sounds delicious and totally veganizable!

So, for my dinner tonight I decided to make my version of the Tomato Mozzarella Panini. The recipe I’m giving you will be for a regular panini sandwich with ciabatta bread, but I will also give you the variation I used to make mine gluten free. As a bonus, I gave you a recipe for the side I chose to enjoy with it!

Yes please!

So here is my version of the delicious sounding sandwich! Except as you can see, mine is open faced. As all of my gluten free friends out there will tell you, gluten free bread isn’t known for being soft and tender. It is dense and toasts up pretty solid and is not ideal for a sandwich. So I made mine open faced!

Panera Inspired Tomato Mozzarella Panini (serves 1)

Ingredients:

1 ciabatta roll* (see note for gluten free version)

5 Mediterranean seasoned oil packed sun dried tomatoes

2 large basil leaves, chiffonade or chopped

fresh tomato slices (2-4, enough to fit bread)

1/8 – 1/4 cup Daiya Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:

1. Cut ciabatta roll in half and preheat panini press.

2. Make sun dried tomato pesto by simply blending the sun dried tomatoes into a paste. It is important not to drain the excess oil from the tomatoes since it will be your oil that will bind your pesto into a paste. Stir in basil by hand.

3. Spread pesto onto the bread (both sides if you have enough). Top one half with fresh tomato slices and a layer of mozzarella cheese. Close the sandwich.

4. Spray your panini press with cooking spray so the sandwich won’t stick. Press your panini until the bread is crisp and the cheese is melted. Enjoy!

If you do not have a panini press you can cook on the stove top like a grilled cheese sandwich. Cook until bread is golden brown and crispy and the cheese is melted.

*Gluten Free version (open faced) – Toast one slice of your favorite gluten free bread (I used brown rice bread) until slightly toasted. Spread pesto and top with fresh tomato and Daiya mozzarella. Broil on high heat until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Enjoy!

For a GF version you can probably also use a gluten free tortilla and make it like a quesadilla! Yum!

Check out those layers!

Pretty easy huh? Now the only thing left to complete this meal is your side. Panera offers a side of bread (not really appropriate to eat with a sandwich), potato chips or an apple. Now, I don’t have potato chips and I didn’t feel like chomping into an apple, so I decided to combine the two sides into one amazing choice.

Thats right! I made myself some raw apple chips to eat as my side for my open faced tomato mozzarella sandwich!

These were SO GOOD! They take a long time but are so worth it! And they are so simple to make.

Raw Cinnamon Apple Chips

Ingredients:

2 large apples (I used organic gala apples)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

cinnamon to taste

Directions:

1. Slice the apples as thin as possible. I used a mandolin but you can slice by hand. It may take longer to dehydrate depending on the thickness if you slice by hand.

2. Toss sliced apples with the lemon juice to prevent browning.

3. Place apple slices on your dehydrator trays and sprinkle with cinnamon.*

4. Dehydrate at 104 degrees for 12-16 hours until completely dry. Enjoy!

*The lemon can leave a bit of a tart taste so if you are inclined to you can sprinkle some raw sugar on top as well to bump up the sweetness. I didn’t use sugar and I thought they were fine but it all depends on your taste!

So there you have it! Another menu inspired meal coming out of my kitchen :) I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that my recipes are for simple meals. To be honest I’m not trying to recreate big, fancy restaurant dishes at home. I think that those are the dishes you SHOULD be getting at a restaurant. My goal is to show how easy it is to recreate simple meals at home, saving those special meals for when you do go to restaurants :)

I hope you all had a great week so far! Two more days until my weekend :) Have a great night!